If These Walls Could Talk, Part II

(Read Part I)

Am I pissed? Sure, I’m pissed. But it’s not like I want to smother him as he sleeps. Tonight isn’t the first time he’s done this, and I’ve done it to him, too, sans the Russell Crowe bit (trying to reenact the rap battles from 8 Mile is apparently more my thing). We’re in college. It’s bound to happen.

Which makes me wonder: How many times has a scene along these lines played out between two roommates living in this room? The dorm is like 70 years old, and I doubt the guys living here in the ’40s were that much more refined than we are today; they probably got all liquored up and started yelling about Citizen Kane.

Say that, on average, each resident stumbled home in this condition once a semester—a fairly conservative estimate. That’s four such exchanges per year, good for almost 300 total. It’s kind of mindboggling. I can only imagine what their master-and-commander moments were.

“Doesn’t it bother you that the genie from I Dream of Jeannie is named ‘Jeannie’?”

“You tell that Che Guevara poster to stop staring at me.”

“Yeah, I stole your copy of Pong. And I’d do it again.”

“President Reagan has it right with Star Wars. I’d trust Chewie with my life. My life, man.”

“EVERY-BAH-DAY! (Yeah-ahh) ROCK YOUR BAH-DAY! (Yeah-ahh) EVERY-BAH-DAY! ROCK YOUR BODY RIGHT! BACKSTREET’S BACK, ALRIGHT!”

Wow. All that history. It’s almost like we’re living in Colonial Williamsburg.

And drunken philosophizing is just the beginning. Who knows how many future doctors, lawyers, insurance salesmen, game-show contestants, and taxidermists (it’s not that good of a school) lived in here. There could’ve been an All-American football player. Or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Or maybe even the visionary behind the pizza nachos they sell in the basement.

I’d like to think most were pretty cool, but some had to be assholes (not the pizza nachos guy, though; no one bad could give the world something that good). The common thread connecting all 140 of us is this room and the fact that we’ve each most likely been wasted in it.

I’ve never felt more school pride than I do right now, that taxidermy program be damned.

Basking in the glow of slightly diminished shame, I start drifting back to sleep and am almost there when I lurch forward like I’m having one of those pre-sleep, falling sensations. If only that’s what it was. In those instances, I like to pretend I’m Eric Bana in The Time Traveler’s Wife.

That sentence may have just shed a lot of light on why I’m single.

Unfortunately, this particular crash into consciousness cannot be explained by a cosmic force drawing me back to Rachel McAdams. No, judging by the groan that immediately followed it, the source was my roommate plowing into the bedpost en route to the bathroom. So I guess in a sense, an immutable force of nature was at play—just one far less likely to be adapted into a major motion picture.

Read Part III

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